Several randomized controlled trials have reported the effects of vegetarian diets on blood lipids and glucose homeostasis in adults, but not in overweight or obese individuals. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of vegetarian diets on blood lipids and glucose homeostasis in overweight or obese adults by systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library through October 2021. We chose to include overweight or obese patients in the studies of the vegetarian diet for metabolic control. Seven trials with a total of 783 overweight or obese adult were included in the meta-analysis. The analysis of the data revealed that the vegetarian diets significantly reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (WMD, −0.31; 95% CI, −0.46 to −0.16), total cholesterol (TC) (WMD, −0.37; 95% CI, −0.52 to −0.22), and HbA1c (WMD (%), −0.33; 95% CI, −0.55 to −0.11). The vegetarian diets had an elevated effect on blood triglycerides (WMD, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.11–0.47). However, there were no significant effects of vegetarian diets on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), Fasting plasma glucose(FPG), and HOMA-IR in these individuals. The results of this study suggest that vegetarian diets effectively reduce LDL-C, TC, and HbA1c levels, thus functioning as a promising therapeutic strategy for improving the metabolic dysfunction in overweight or obese individuals. However, further large-scale clinical trials are required to confirm the validity of these findings.
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Data reviewed and analyzed during this meta-analysis is available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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Xu, Y., Mo, G., Yao, Y. et al. The effects of vegetarian diets on glycemia and lipid parameters in adult patients with overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-023-01283-x